DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis baseball team added one more roster spot to its 2018 lineup when 13-year-old Jetty "J.J" Huish declared to lend his talents to the Aggies during his draft day press conference held at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium on Saturday.
With the support of numerous friends and family members in attendance as well as the entire 2018 UC Davis squad, the Roseville, Calif. native signed to make his decision official with senior outfielder Ryan Hooper, Head Coach Matt Vaughn, and Director of Athletics Kevin Blue at his side.
The team then presented J.J. with a UC Davis jersey and cap before striking a pose alongside the newest Aggie to close out Draft Day celebrations.
J.J. was diagnosed with X-linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (XSCID) in 2004 and has been traveling to doctor's appointments at UC San Francisco Medical Center for several years now.
"Because of J.J.'s condition, things tend to ebb and flow in regards to how he's doing," said J.J.'s mom, Erin Huish. "But he absolutely loves sports, so for him to have this opportunity and be paired with his favorite sport is a dream come true," Huish added. "Coach Vaughn, all the members of the team, and everyone at team IMPACT have been tremendous and we are just incredibly grateful."
As an official member of the UC Davis roster, J.J. will join the team at practices, games, meals, and other team activities. Congratulations on signing with UC Davis baseball, J.J., and welcome to the Aggie family!
Most commonly associated with a 1970's movie called The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) is diagnosed in approximately 40-100 babies in the United States annually. SCID is characterized by genetic mutations that lead to defects in the immune system's ability to read signals from the body and respond to infections.
X-linked SCID or XSCID is the most common form of SCID and affects only males. XSCID is caused by mutations in a specific gene on the X chromosome called IL2RG, which is responsible for helping create lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) receptors which direct lymphocytes to mobilize and fight infection when signaled by chemical messengers. If a female has an IL2RG gene mutation on one of their X chromosomes, they can rely on the normal copy of the gene on their other X chromosome to maintain a functioning immune system. However, with just one X chromosome in males, they cannot rely on an extra normal IL2RG gene to make up for the mutation, and therefore, experience immune dysfunction. This also explains why the incidence of SCID overall is higher in males. For treatment of SCID, the most effective technique involves introducing blood-forming stem cells via a bone marrow transplant.
(Information found from the National Human Genome Research Institute website; https://www.genome.gov/13014325/learning-about-severe-combined-immunodeficiency-scid/)
If you would like to learn more about XSCID, click here.
ABOUT TEAM IMPACT
A national nonprofit based out of Boston, Mass., Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, and Play Against Challenges Together) focuses its' mission on improving the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto the team and become an official member of the team from Draft Day through to graduation. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,400 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.
FOLLOW TEAM IMPACT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and animal science programs.
- #GoAgs -